E.F. v. Troup County School System
E.F., a minor student, was expelled by Troup County School System for filming a hip-hop music video off campus on a Saturday that was neither connected to nor caused any interference with the school. Furthermore, E.F. had his mother's express consent to film the music video which she both paid for and was present during the filming of. While appealling his expulsion to the Georgia State School Board, E.F. filed a seperate Section 1983 lawsuit in federal court against the unconstitutionally vague school policies that led to his expulsion. The federal lawsuit was stayed pending administration of the state administrative process.
Juvenile Law Center joined the Education Civil Rights Alliance and other advocacy organizations on an amicus brief filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in support of E.F. Amici challenged the stay and argued that students need access to federal courts to vindicate their constitutional rights because appeals to the school board do not afford the same protections as federal litigation and federal courts must have power to review unconstitutionally vague school disciplinary provisions that violate students' rights to freedom of expression, due press, and equal protection. Amici further argued that when schools reach into the home to discipline, parents need access to federal courts to protect their Fourteenth Amendment rights to direct the upbringing of their children.